Part One: Your Home and Your Windows – The Living Room

A living room is typically where homeowners entertain guests. This room often doubles as the family room or a lounging area where the family watches TV, reads and spends time together. Often located in a prominent part of the home, a living room can provide you with exceptional views of the outdoors, which is also why this area serves as the focal point. From the outside, living room windows can easily define a homeowner’s style; make sure to pick your window styles to enhance your home’s curb appeal and overall value – but don’t forget to also consider elements such as daylighting and ventilation that could affect their overall function. These are some of the best styles to consider:

• Picture. Also called fixed windows, picture windows grace many living rooms. A picture window’s design allows for expansive views of the outdoors and floods living spaces with natural light. When combined with an operating window, picture windows offer natural ventilation too.

• Sliding or double-hung. Sliding windows open from side to side, while double-hung windows open vertically. Since these windows come with an operable sash, they are better at admitting natural light and ventilation than picture windows. Placing them strategically can help you harness their full functionality.

• Awning or casement. Awning windows are hinged at the top; casement windows are hinged at the sides. Also operable, these windows can help keep energy costs in check. Casement windows, however, can provide more ventilation since they can be opened fully.

• Bow and bay. Bow and bay windows are combination windows that project from a building. Using energy-efficient styles for side panels (such as double-hung or casement), these units are great for lending that special touch to your home.

Your choice of window treatments for living room windows can also help you better manage your window unit’s daylighting and ventilation, as well as aesthetics. Shutters, for instance, can block out the glare on hot summer days without compromising ventilation. The right curtains can also play up the architecture inside your home, or draw focus to a particular piece that demands attention.

What about the bedroom? Which windows are best suited to a space that protects our privacy? We discuss that in the second part of our series. Stay tuned!